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Lando Calrissian: The Horrible Way The Original Showrunner Discovered His Firing

The opening weekend for director Justin Simien's supernatural comedy "Haunted Mansion" got off to a rough start, not because of the Disney film itself, but rather due to another project he was working on for Walt Disney Entertainment.

Simien, who was previously onboard as the showrunner of Disney+'s Lando Calrissian "Star Wars" spinoff series, learned through social media that he was reportedly off the project. Instead, Donald Glover was reportedly tapped to co-write the series, which means he'd likely reprise his young Lando role from the 2018 movie "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

The report about Donald Glover — who will reportedly co-write the series with his brother, Stephen Glover — broke in a July 27, 2023, report by Above the Line. Simien's film for Disney, "Haunted Mansion," opened in theaters on July 28.

Twitter user @thediegocrispo posted Simien's reactions to the news, with the director's reactions coming from one of his Instagram stories. In the first screengrab, Simien said, "This is me finding out about this [right now.]" Simien took the high road in a separate screengrab posted by @thediegocrispo, saying, "Donald is a national treasure. Glad he and Stephen get to carry the character forward their way. Can't wait to see. Rooting for everybody Black."

In April 2023, Glover told GQ that he would play Lando Calrissian again if it felt "right."

Simien seemed uncertain about his attachment to the Lando series

Ironically, Justin Simien discussed his involvement with the Lando Calrissian series on Disney+ with The Hollywood Reporter the same day Above the Line posted the story about the Glover brothers boarding the series and Simien exiting the project. In the THR interview, Simien — whose writing and directing career took off in 2014 with his indie film sensation "Dear White People" — appeared uncertain about where he stood with Disney on the "Star Wars" spinoff series.

"I am attached, I think, but I don't really know," the director said, laughing. "The last thing I was told was that they loved it but needed to put a pin in it until they could figure out everybody's availability."

Simien then mulled over possible extenuating circumstances that accounted for his uncertainty. "I haven't investigated further, but I'm not an idiot. I'm not alone in that experience," Simien lamented. "But I can't help but wonder, 'Am I too Black? Am I too queer? And people just don't want to say that?' Because it seems like I develop things with these companies and they just never happen for reasons unknown."

A Lando series appears to be on the mind of Billy Dee Williams, who played the character in the classic "Star Wars" trilogy movies "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980 and "Return of the Jedi" in 1983. The venerable actor reprised the role of Lando for "The Rise of Skywalker" in 2015, which wrapped up the nine-episode movie series in the Skywalker saga.

In a note that accompanied his tweet on August 1, 2023, Williams teased something magnificent. The actor concluded the note by saying, "May the Force be with you all."